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Pharmacy 2016, 4(2), 18; doi:10.3390/pharmacy4020018

Restrictions to Pharmacy Ownership and Vertical Integration in Estonia—Perception of Different Stakeholders

and
†,*
Institute of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, 1 Nooruse Str, Tartu 50411, Estonia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Janine M. Traulsen
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 4 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Pharmacy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [619 KB, uploaded 19 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

Objectives: From 2020, the ownership of community pharmacies in Estonia will be limited to the pharmacy profession, and the vertical integration of wholesale companies and community pharmacies will not be allowed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of different stakeholders in primary healthcare toward the new regulations of the community pharmacy sector in Estonia. Methods: A qualitative electronic survey was distributed to the main stakeholders in primary healthcare and higher education institutions providing pharmacy education (n = 40) in May 2015. For data analysis, the systematic text condensation method was used. Results: The study participants described two opposing positions regarding the development of community pharmacies in the future. Reform supporters emphasized increased professional independence and more healthcare-oriented operation of community pharmacies. Reform opponents argued against these ideas as community pharmacists do not have sufficient practical experience and finances to ensure sustainable development of the community pharmacy sector in Estonia. Conclusion: Based on the current perception of all respondents, the future operation of the community pharmacy sector in Estonia is unclear and there is urgent need for implementation criteria for the new regulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: pharmaceutical policy; restrictions; ownership of community pharmacies; vertical integration; Estonia pharmaceutical policy; restrictions; ownership of community pharmacies; vertical integration; Estonia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gross, M.; Volmer, D. Restrictions to Pharmacy Ownership and Vertical Integration in Estonia—Perception of Different Stakeholders. Pharmacy 2016, 4, 18.

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